MLB (1 Pick)
6:40pm est: Pirates Moneyline +150 (3 Units)
Pirates SP Roansy Contreras has been very good in 2023. He had 1 bad start against Houston but has been elite in every other. Excluding his 2nd start of the year, he’s allowed just 4 ER in 4 starts across 24.1 IP. He just 2 hit shutout the LA Dodgers in his most recent. He’s made 2 road starts and was sharp in each. 1 ER in 5.1 IP in Boston and 2 ER in 6 IP in STL. Their offenses rank 4th and 5th when playing at Home. He also made 1 start at Tampa Bay last year, allowing 1 ER in 5 innings.
The Rays have had the 2nd easiest schedule to start 2023. They’ve played against Detroit, Washington, Oakland, Cinci, and the White Sox twice. Every single one of those teams rank 20 or below in Team ERA. The A’s and White Sox are 30th and 29th. They’ve played 3 series against respectable teams; Boston, Toronto; and Houston. They swept Boston earlier in the year, but the Red Sox just started to get healthy and play better ball. Boston still ranks 25th in Team ERA. TB lost both series 1-2 to Toronto and Houston though. Runs scored in those 6 games: 3, 2, 8, 8, 0, & 0.
Tampa Bay has practically the same lineup as they did in 2022, a 2022 lineup that ranked 24th. They’re certainly better this year but their schedule doesn’t get much more hitter friendly than it’s been. Good pitching has stumped them plenty this season. The Pirates rank 7th with a team ERA of 3.55 but more importantly there’s a freshly rested 3.1 ERA bullpen backing up Contreras tonight. PIT has 3 relievers with a sub 1.0 ERA and 2 others 3.0 or lower.
Tampa Bay is rolling out their bullpen today and they do have a good one. But like their offense, they haven’t faced very stiff competition. Outside of Boston and Toronto every offense they’ve faced ranks 19th or lower. The Pirates rank 3rd this year and have scored 6 or more in 5 of their last 6 games. 3 of which came against the Dodgers. They just got stumped by Josiah Gray, who’s allowed just 5 ER in his last 5 starts.
Pirates get a good opportunity to take an early lead. Javy Guerra gets the start for the Rays. He got designated for assignment by the Brewers before the Rays traded for him. He allowed 5 ER in 1.2 IP against Boston in his most recent outing. The appearance before that he gave up 1 ER in .1 IP without allowing a hit. He walked 3 and hit 1 batter. He’s also never made a big league start before. He’s only made 1 in 67 minor league appearances too. He owns a career 6.92 ERA dating back to 2019. If PIT can jump ahead early it’ll help keep the Rays best bullpen arms sidelined for another day.